Jakarta became the stage for a remarkable convergence of art, culture, and innovation on 15 November 2023 as the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism of Korea joined hands with ASEAN-Korea Partnership Project for Innovative Culture and the Korean Foundation for International Cultural Exchange (KOFICE), orchestrating a grand celebration comprised of educational forum and art exhibitions. This series of events was held to honour the evolution of art, culture, and the creative industry in the ASEAN-Korea region, set against the backdrop of rapid technological progress.
The ASEAN-Korea Innovative Culture Forum was the highlight of this celebration, held at the Wahyu Sihombing Theatre, Taman Ismail Marzuki, with the theme of “PERSEVERANCE: Creativity on the Border”. Unfolding from 15 – 16 November 2023, this forum welcomed esteemed guests including Jung Kilhwa (KOR), President of the Korean Foundation for International Cultural Exchange (KOFICE), whose presence elevated the event’s significance. Collaborating partners such as the ASEAN Foundation, TIM JAKPRO, and the Korean Cultural Center added depth to this vibrant cultural exchange.
The forum focused on the issue of a transformative period marked by swift global changes, including the impact of the pandemic, emergence of cryptocurrency and NFTs, and the increasing integration of AI into daily life. While technology presents opportunities, pressing issues such as climate change, democracy, human rights, and wealth distribution persist. It also explored how the creative industry responds to challenges, embraces AI, contributes to environmental solutions, and shapes a better future through innovative thinking.
At its core, PERSEVERANCE symbolised the drive to achieve creative goals amidst obstacles. It prompted discussions on artists’ reactions to advanced AI, the role of the creative sector in environmental problem-solving, and the necessity for individual and collective adaptation to embrace change constructively. This pivotal two-day forum served as a crucial step in nurturing the cultural ties between ASEAN and Korea, addressing these pressing issues while fostering collaborative opportunities within the creative landscape.
The next event was the immersive 13-day art exhibition 2023 ASEAN-Korea Innovative Culture Exhibition with the theme “PERSEVERANCE: Art Crossing Borders”. It was held from 14 – 25 November 2023. With the goal to showcase artworks by ASEAN-Korea artists, all works were sourced from collectors and cultural institutions from the ASEAN-Korea region. Discussions on the evolution of Southeast Asian contemporary art gained traction since the mid-1990s, notably in showcasing artworks from Southeast Asian artists at international art events like the Asia Pacific Triennale (Brisbane, Australia) and the Fukuoka Art Triennale (Japan). Concurrently, independent institutions and curators initiated exhibitions focusing on art practices within the Asia Pacific to foster interconnectedness and define a sense of “regionalism” within contemporary art in the region.
This relationship significantly impacted the regional contemporary art market, with galleries across ASEAN nations observing and displaying works by artists from neighbouring ASEAN countries. The rise of international art exhibitions in the Asia-Pacific during the 2000s further bolstered these trends, leading to increased distribution and collection of artworks from and within the ASEAN region.
The exhibition, hosted at Art:1 New Museum featured 21 artworks by 14 collectors from ASEAN-Korea, showcasing artists such as Abigil Hakim (IDN), Alvin Tan (MYS), Diaz Parzada (IDN), Disaphol Chansiri (THA), Iwan Kurniawan Lukminto (IDN), Jayoon Na (KOR), Lou Samson (SGP), Natasha Sidharta (IDN), Nathaniel P. Gunawan (SGP), Yayasan Seni NĀuyen (VNM), Rudi Lazuardi (IDN), Sunarto Tinor (IDN), Tom Tandio (IDN), and Wiyu Wahono (IDN).
Meanwhile the 2023 ASEAN-Korea Innovative Culture Exhibition, “PERSEVERANCE: Art Crossing Borders” also graced the Art Jakarta exhibitions halls from 17 – 19 November 2023. This remarkable exhibition showcased the artistic prowess of ASEAN-KOREA artists, featuring a diverse artwork, aimed to not only present stunning creations but also to articulate the evolving landscape of ASEAN-KOREA’s artistic world, highlighting the concept of mapping and interconnecting developments within the vibrant art scene.
A total of 20+ artworks from 10 prominent galleries participated in this cultural extravaganza, each bringing its unique flavour and artistic flair to the showcase. From A+ Works of Art (MYS) to Vin Gallery (VNM), galleries such as Andis Gallery (IDN), Baik Art (KOR), and Gajah Gallery (SGP) contributed to the rich tapestry of artistry on display. The exhibition served as a hub where creativity converged, inviting visitors to immerse themselves in the diverse perspectives and narratives of ASEAN-KOREA artists.